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House of Representatives
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session


Posted: February 4, 2013 12:14 PM
From: Representative Sid Michaels Kavulich
To: All House members
Subject: Emergency Lockdown Drills in Schools


To: Members of the House of Representatives

From: Representative Sid Michaels Kavulich

Date: January 18, 2013

Subject: Co-sponsorship of Legislation – Emergency Lockdown Drills in Schools

In the near future, I am planning to introduce legislation that will require Pennsylvania elementary and secondary schools to conduct periodic emergency lockdown drills.

We have an obligation to create a safe, secure and supportive environment where students, staff and visitors to our schools can learn, work and be present. In light of the recent tragic school shooting incident at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, and other incidents of random violence in recent years, it is imperative that our schools provide the safety training and preparation necessary to help teachers, students and staff know how to react when an emergency situation arises that threatens their safety while they are at school.

Currently, schools are required to have emergency management plans in place, and perform periodic fire drills. However, fire drills are different from lockdown drills. Where fire drills are designed to get children out of the school building in an orderly manner, a lockdown drill is designed to lock children in safe areas of the school in order to protect them in the event of a threat to their security. In the current climate of violent shootings across our country, we must be sure to take every reasonable precaution to ensure that our students and school personnel are as safe as possible, and are prepared to respond quickly and effectively in the event of an emergency, such as the threat of an armed intruder. Indeed, such contingency plans are a vital part of establishing and maintaining school safety. In addition to protecting teachers, administrators, school staff and visitors, these safety procedures can help to save the lives of children, who are our most precious resource.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this legislation.

Introduced as HB1609